Opera-Matic

Bringing Moving Music & Visual Art to the Streets

Executive Director: Robin Cline is a writer, educator, and performer, and is particularly interested in public participatory experiences. Outside of Opera-Matic, Robin serves as the Assistant Director of NeighborSpace, where she plays a leadership role in creative stewardship development and implementation. She has developed systems that assist community land managers more effectively engage in their public space stewardship, such as resource attainment, creative community networking, and conflict management. She served on Chicago Wilderness' No Child Left Behind Education Committee for 5 years, where she developed and presented early childhood nature play workshops to environmental educators throughout the Chicago Region. She was recently named one of Chicago’s Peace Fellows for 2019.

Artistic Director: Lily Emerson is a multi­faceted performer, producer, collaborator, and all-around creative weirdo. She currently serves as Artistic Director for Opera-Matic. You can find her every month moonlighting as Lily Night in "Mr. and Mrs. Wednesday-Night," Chicago's premiere mostly-improvised variety show. She is also the co-creator of Adventure Sandwich, which produces family-friendly video, music, live performances and events, and previously founded Lucid Street Theatre, a performance collective that created original works from 2007-2011. Lily has performed throughout the US and Europe, worked with children as a teaching artist for more than 10 years, and has been recognized with various awards and residencies, including the Lisa Dershin LinkUP Residency, the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum's Artist in Residence, and the Chicago Digital Media Production Fund. More information about Lily can be found at creative-weirdo.com.


Visual Art Lead: Gillian Butcher

Gillian's work has taken shape in the form of banners, chalkboards, murals, a-frames, guitar pedals, 3-dimensional models, and replicas for film Production. When Gillian is not painting, she also acts and stuff: gillianbutcher.com @OkayArtandSigns

Director of Development:

Maria Elena Hernandez

Shop Queen: Andrea Jablonski is a Polish born, multidisciplinary artist, residing in Chicago. Among other merits, Jablonski was named a Tribune Millennium Artist in 2000, one of the Chicago Reader’s 2011 People of the Year and the Featured Artist for East Garfield Park Chicago Artists’ Month 2013. Jablonski has over a decade long career of commercial painting, murals, set designs and installations. Her personal work includes a wide range of mediums, techniques and themes that focus on site specific installations, portraits, and using repurposed materials ( wood, canvas, metal etc. ). She initiated a recycled materials vacant lot sculpture project with peers in her own neighborhood. Jablonski has completed several interesting artist residencies including working with Arts of Life (collaborating with one of their artists ) and Valley of the Vapors Music and Art Festival ( Hot Springs AK ) bringing her Prayer Flag Project - which was also showcased at Garfield Park Conservatory and Chicago Green Technology Center. She works with several not for profits including Elastic Arts, having been their Sound and Vision Gallery curator for a couple seasons and Operamatic – a community based arts program in Humboldt Park. She lectures and workshops on a regular basis and is a well respected musician in her community. Find out more at andreajablonski.blogspot.com


Master Sculptress: Laura Miracle is a sculptor and mixed-media production artist. She makes interactive objects that explore patterns in nature as well as the nature of human-object interaction. She has shared a love for making things with makers across the city: she teaches woodworking at Chicago Industrial Arts and Design Center, managed the build shop and internship program for Redmoon Theater, served as a teaching artist for Marwen, Hyde Park Art Center, the Art Institute, and the Museum of Contemporary Art, and is a state-certified elementary art teacher.


Musician and Devising Ensemble: Charlie Malave is an artist, multi­-instrumentalist, and D-I-Y video producer. He plays with Mucca Pazza, an interdisciplinary instrumental music and performance ensemble based in Chicago, which has been featured on Late Night with Conan O’Brien and NPR’s Tiny Desk. He is also the founder of Schwinntonation, a band which creates and performs music using bicycles and bicycle parts that has been featured on Chicago Public Radio's Re:Sound and WNYC’s The Takeaway.. Charlie is also the lead designer and head of tech for Adventure Sandwich. He’s composed music for Redmoon and Lucid Street Theatre, among others, and has toured the US and the United Kingdom with Al Scorch’s Country Soul Ensemble. Samples of his work can be found at charlieuniverse.bandcamp.com


Visual Art Ens: Jessi Woska

Visual Artist: Erik Newman is determined to create a landscape of his own technological devising. Since graduating with a BS Product Design, Institute of Design, Illinois Institute of Technology in 1995 he has been engaged in a variety of design and craft projects. He has had his own workshop for over 20 years. He has been an instructor in the Designed Objects department at the School of the Art Institute Chicago since 2007. Erik has worked with The Museum of Jurassic Technology, Redmoon Theatre, Velaslavasay Panorama, The Neofuturists, as well as a range of private clients. He has developed a line of furniture that incorporates sustainable materials, frugal manufacturing, and efficient user assembly. Other work includes German submarines and human body slices. He drives and frequently repairs a 1980 Volk-swagen pickup truck.

This program is partially supported by grants from the Illinois Arts Council Agency and CityArts, a program of the Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events. Opera-Matic programs are also made possible through support from the National Endowment for the Arts Art Works program, Alphawood, the Chicago Community Trust, Night Out in the Parks, and more. Visit our "Support" page for more information. 

This project is supported by a Community Arts Assistance Program grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events and Illinois Arts Council, a state agency.

© 2013 Opera-Matic